Frontal wedge deformation near the source region of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake

Yoshihiro Ito, Takeshi Tsuji, Yukihito Osada, Motoyuki Kido, Daisuke Inazu, Yutaka Hayashi, Hiroaki Tsushima, Ryota Hino, Hiromi Fujimoto

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230 Citations (Scopus)


We report an uplift of 5 m with a horizontal displacement of more than 60 m due to the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. The uplift was measured by an ocean-bottom pressure gauge installed before the earthquake on a frontal wedge, which formed an uplift system near the Japan Trench. Horizontal displacements of the frontal wedge were measured using local benchmark displacements obtained by acoustic ranging before and after the earthquake. The average displacements at the frontal wedge were 58 m east and 74 m east-southeast. These results strongly suggest a huge coseismic slip beneath the frontal wedge on the plate boundary. The estimated magnitude of the slip along the main fault was 80 m near the trench. Our results suggest that the horizontal and vertical deformations of the frontal wedge due to the slip generated the tremendous tsunami that struck the coastal area of northeastern Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL00G05
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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